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New Dodger’s Ownership Group Goes All In
- Updated: September 6, 2012
In pulling off 1 major trade and one BOCKBUSTER trade so far this summer, the Guggenheim Baseball Group that paid over $2 billion dollars for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium has shown it’s commitment to putting the best possible team on the field now by flexing financial muscle rarely seen in Major League Baseball. As if taking on all the remaining $38 million of Hanley Ramirez’s contract from the Florida Marlins wasn’t enough the new ownership group then added around $260 million in contracts from the Boston Red Sox for 4 players; 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Carl Crawford (on DL after recent Tommy John surgery) SP Josh Beckett and Utility player Nick Punto. For those keeping score at home that’s around $300 million in contracts for a team that was purchased by previous owner Frank McCourt for a highly leveraged $421 million.
I have watched numerous televised interviews and listened to multiple radio broadcasts and can tell you, new team owners Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and President Stan Kasten have been clear. All readily admit the major league roster was in major need of an upgrade from the AA and AAA level talent the Dodgers had run out on the field in April, May and June. All state “you have to spend money in this league to be successful”. All also state that the organization must return to the roots of its successful past by emphasizing and rebuilding the scouting and development system. Also notable in these interviews: Kasten in particular has stated he has not been told what General Manager Ned Colletti’s budget would be and said the Dodgers with these moves may not be big players in next winter’s free agent activities. S This would thwart what some in theNorthern Californiamedia (read Giants beat writers) have referred to as the LAnkees.
The Dodgers gave up a lot of current talent in their minor league system (Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands, Ivan DeJesus and the Dodgers MLB 1B James Loney) but were careful to hang on to SP Zach Lee. Since the Dodgers really have no impact players ready in the minor league system, (even Zach Lee is projected to arrive in LA in or around 2014) it was clear the team needed MLB level players now. Example 1: James Loney was hitting .275 with 4 home runs and 33 rbi’s at the time of his trade. Adrian Gonzalez while not putting up powerhouse numbers this season has been a steady run producer – and in his 1st four games with the Dodgers has driven in 6 runs and hit a 3 run home run in his first at bat.
By trading for immediate needs at the Major League Level now for players in their primes (albeit for high contracts) the Dodgers intend to be competitive at the major league level now while a comprehensive rebuilding effort goes on in all levels of the organization that had been severely neglected by the previous ownership of Frank McCourt. The new ownership group recently hired renowned Janet Marie Smith as Senior VP of Planning and Development and will oversee upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium similar to what she did in helping buildOriolesParkat Camden Yards, and oversee improvements and enhancements toAtlanta’s Turner Field andBoston’sFenwayPark. They also announced that despite their spending spree, there would be no rise in ticket prices next season.